Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Highway To Hope

A few weeks ago I was working in Vancouver.  To avoid the hassles of Easter long weekend travelers at the main airport I booked my flights in and out of a smaller airport east of the city.  After seven days of travel and business meetings I was exhausted and SO ready to go home!  

The Trans Canada highway was under construction so the GPS was no help... I’d have to rely on the road signs.  I approached what used to be the on ramp, scanning the area for signs pointing east.  Target sighted...the sign read, “East to Hope”.

Hope is a beautiful little town in British Columbia that lies east of Vancouver, as did the airport, so off I went, following the sign to Hope.

Apparently I misinterpreted the direction the arrow on the sign pointed because very quickly I found myself in a residential area leading away from the main highway.  I turned around and had another go.

This time I found myself on a service road adjoining the main highway.  Frustrated, I decided to stay on the road until the next exit (not like I had a whole lot of choice).  At least I was heading east!  After driving for what seemed like forever, signs appeared promising an exit ahead.  “Finally,” I thought, “I’ll get on the main highway.”

The sign that said Hope was actually false hope...the exit was closed for construction.  Grrrrrr!  I glanced at my gas gauge, appalled to see it bordering alarmingly close to the empty mark...CRAP!  No gas stations on the service road.

As I drove along frustrated and tired, eyeing the gas tank, (as though watching it would slow its rapid descent) my stress level growing with every kilometer that rolled by I thought, “This has got to be a blog post!”  The irony was not lost on me...

After all I knew the main highway would take me to Hope but here I was driving down a service road in the middle of nowhere with no hope of getting to Hope unless I could get onto the road that promised to take me to Hope.  

All the while I was afraid I’d run out gas before I managed to get onto the highway leading to Hope and the minutes ticked by reminding me that my time to get onto the highway to Hope was quickly running out, meaning I really had no hope of getting to the airport on time.

Does that sound like your life?  Maybe you’re on a road leading nowhere and need to get off right now.  Are you fighting an addiction, flirting with an inappropriate relationship, stuck in a job you hate and want to go back to school, struggling with depression, or battling cancer?  Wouldn’t it help if you could just see a billboard from God saying you’re on the road leading to a hope filled future?

We could all use some hope but it’s not always easy to find.  Life is hard and doesn’t come with a guarantee.  We all face challenging times.  If you’re in one right now I encourage you to do a couple of things.

1)      Reach out to God during these times.  Talk to Him; tell Him your struggles and your frustrations.  Jesus went through many challenges while He was on this earth and knows what you’re going through, too.  You don’t have to be a professional speaker or address God formally to pray, just find a quiet spot and talk to Him, pour out your heart and ask Him to come into your life to help you.
2)      Now take action.  Find someone you can trust – a pastor, a close friend, a counselor, your doctor – someone you can talk to.  You don’t have to suffer out and ask for the help you need. 
3)      Keep pursuing hope every day.  Don’t give up on it.  Hope is out there.

If you’re not sure how to start, try saying this prayer today.

Heavenly Father I need You to bring me hope.  Everything seems too big to handle.  Life is overwhelming and I’m not sure what to do or where to turn.  It just seems hopeless and I’m asking You to help me.  I’m asking You to show me hope, to lead me to people who can help in the situation I’m in.  Lord I might have to pray this prayer over and over again before You bring me through this, but I’m asking you to partner with me in this struggle right now and I’m going forward in faith knowing You’re with me and trusting you to give me hope.  Thank you for Your presence, thank you for the hope I have in your son Jesus Christ.  Amen

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